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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this website is here.

October 26, 1954, Gatteville-le-Phare, Manche:

Reference number for this case: 26-Oct-54-Gatteville. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

In the 2000s, a database of UFO sightings on the American Web indicated that on October 26, 1954, in Gatteville-le-Phare, an unidentified object was sighted by several witnesses, but it had an appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation.

I later found a contemporary source, the national newspaper La Croix for October 27, 1954 on page 2, They wrote:

"A fishing boss, Henri Letrecher, living in Gatteville-Phare (Manche), saw an orange globe in the sky which moved at breakneck speed, letting hang a luminous arrow of the same color. His son and several neighbors witnessed the same phenomenon."

Reports:

[Ref. lcx1:] NEWSPAPER "LA CROIX":

Scan.

Saucers, cigars, etc.

Squadrons reported
above Yugoslavia

Flying saucers and other strange objects were reported over Yugoslavia on Monday.

The press and the radio reported multiple mysterious craft flying at high altitude, high speed and often in formations.

"Large flying spheres leaving a fluorescent green trail" have been seen over Zagreb, Belgrade and several other locations.

Also on Monday, around 6 a.m., residents of Belgrade observed "strange objects" at very high altitudes.

Noisy apparatuses
cross the Iron Curtain!

Prague radio reports that flying saucers have been sighted over the territory of Czechoslovakia.

The radio said that in some places loud detonations were heard and that the population was asked to communicate all their observations to the weather station located in the Tatra Mountains.

In Austria the saucers"
have "panache"

Thousands of Austrians have also seen mysterious craft flying over their country.

The meteorological station of Vienna affirms, about a "saucer" which appeared above the capital, that it is not a weathre balloon, but an "object terminated by a plume of flames", flying at an extraordinary speed, from West to East, without making the slightest noise. Above Graz, it would have been a green-blue ball, terminated at the rear by a point, and which flew at an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 meters. The same craft was seen by numerous witnesses over the towns of Judenburg and Wildon, in Styria.

Finally, in Burgenland, the flying saucers, according to spectators, had the shape of a red ball this time, and which flew horizontally and silently in the direction of Hungary.

They're coming back...
in Holland...

After a long absence, the saucers once again crisscross the skies of the Netherlands. It was especially in the northeast of the country that witnesses reported the appearance of saucers, cigars and flying balls, which, according to them, were moving at high speed towards the West, with sudden changes of direction.

... but seem to
abandon France

- A fishing boss, Henri Letrecher, living in Gatteville-Phare (Manche), saw an orange globe in the sky which moved at breakneck speed, letting hang a luminous arrow of the same color. His son and several neighbors witnessed the same phenomenon.

- In Brest a naval engineer officer has just reported that he had seen a luminous disc located at about 8,000 meters of altitude and heading towards Plougastel. It was a kind of biconvex lens.

[Ref. uda1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on 26 October 1954 in the morning in Gateville, France "An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One object was observed by several witnesses (Phare)."

The sources are indicated as "Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR, London, 1966; Vallee, Jacques, Computerized Catalog (N = 3073)".

[Ref. ubk1:] "UFO-DATENBANK":

Case Nr. New case Nr. Investigator Date of observation Zip Place of observation Country of observation Hour of observation Classification Comments Identification
19541026 26.10.1954 Gateville France NL

Explanations:

Not looked for yet. The lighthouse?

There is no "Gateville" in France; there is a "Gatteville", now called Gatteville-le-Phare, in the department of the Manche.

[uda1] notes "Phare" as if it were a witness' name; whereas it is more likely a part of the city's name, or the explanation, phare meaning lighthouse.

Contrarily to the claim in [uda1], there is bothing about this observation in "Bowen, Charles, The Humanoids: FSR Special Edition No. 1, FSR."

The information is totally insufficient, but there was apparently no strangeness in it.

Addition [1]:

With the [lcx1] source I just found, I think the most likely explanation is that it was a meteor.

Map.

Keywords:

(These keywords are only to help queries and are not implying anything.)

Gatteville-le-Phare, Gateville, Manche, lighthouse

Sources:

[----] indicates sources that are not yet available to me.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross February 26, 2010 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross March 6, 2017 Addition [ubk1].
1.2 Patrick Gross December 10, 2019 Addition of the Summary.
1.3 Patrick Gross January 22, 2021 Addition [lcx1]. In the Summary, addition of the information from [lcx1]. In the Explanations, adddition of the "Addition [1]" part.

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This page was last updated on January 22, 2021.